Months ago, I went to Japan and part of my self-prep was to learn about Japanese culture. I came across this video of Japanese foods and I became obsessed with a bagged pasta sauce made of spicy pollock roe or karashi mentaiko. Although it would be far more expensive, I finally decided to try my own version.
Funny Story: when I first began my search for the best mentaiko spaghetti recipe, I kept coming across cartoons of well-muscled and scantily clad young men. Eventually, I discovered
Mentaiko is a creator of gay erotic doujinshi (self-published comics) in Japan, and Priapus is the breakout star of two of the artist’s recent works. Priapus is a sleazy demon stud sent by Zeus to unleash the world’s gayness one sordid encounter at a time.
While karashi mentaiko spaghetti will have to wait another day, I did come across an intriguing kimchi mentaiko udon bowl from Momofuku for Two (she has since moved to I Am a Food Blog. It is not the most attractive dish, but it does have a homey charm. When I scraped the eggs out of the sac, I was surprised and a little worried by the pungency. Milder than anchovies, the fish eggs were briny but not overwhelming and definitely not fishy-tasting.
Although the karashi mentaiko I found was fresh, apparently you can buy it frozen as well. Since it only requires noodles, kimchi, butter, and fish eggs, it has the possibility of being one of those meals that you just throw together in ten minutes when you haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while.
ADAPTED from Momofuku for Two
- generous handful of fresh noodles or a packet of udon
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- half a sac of karashi mentaiko
- 2-3 tablespoons of kimchi
- salt and pepper to taste
- OPTIONAL: chopped scallions and nori
Boil water for the noodles in a medium saucepan and cook noodles according to the instructions. Meanwhile melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool. Once the butter is room temperature, scrape the eggs out of the sac and mix them win the melted butter. Chop the kimchi.
Toss the finished pasta in the butter sauce and then mix the kimchi.